When elbow pain strikes, what do you do? First, let’s take a look at what causes elbow pain. There are many different types of injuries related to the elbow. Today, I want to touch on two of the most common. They are easy to diagnose, easy to treat but can be difficult to totally get rid of the pain.
The two most common diagnoses are “Tennis elbow” and “Golfer’s elbow”. Tennis elbow’s clinical name is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is the inflammation of the common extensor tendon of the forearm and is located on the outside of the elbow.
Golfer’s elbow’s clinical name is Medial Epicondylitis. It is inflammation of the common flexor tendon of the forearm and is located on the inside of the elbow.
For the non athlete, there are many things that can cause or bring on these conditions. The two most common are 1) A strenuous or aggressive activity, like swinging a heavy hammer or lifting something very heavy, or 2) A repetitive or overuse activity, such as factory line work or keyboarding.
The good news is they are easy to treat!
1. REST. Avoid any activity that causes pain.
2. ICE. I feel that an ice massage for 5 minutes is most effective.
3. STRETCH the affected area. This is done by putting arm straight out in front. Pull wrist up to stretch the flexors for Golfer’s elbow or wrist down for Tennis elbow. Hold stretches for 10 sec for about 5 reps.
4. Lastly, you can purchase a STRAP to wear around your forearm about an inch below your elbow to give you some relief.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, although these conditions are easy to treat they can be hard to totally get rid of. Give it a month or so, and if it does not improve with these 4 tips, let your local Physical Therapist give you a hand. One last thing to remember: don’t let this condition go, the longer you wait the tougher these conditions are to treat.
By: Brian Colvin, PT
Steve Bartz, PT